Around Jamshedpur/Tatanagar

The Land, The People & The Environment in and around Jamshedpur

The town of Jamshedpur came in existence in the beginning of 20th century when Jamshed Ji Nausherwan Ji Tata decided to establish an iron and steel factory in the vicinity of rivers Subernrekha and Kharkai and acquired a huge chunk of land belonging to the erstwhile raiyats, government and forests through various agreements and conveyances.

The first agreement for acquisition of land of 18 villages under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 was entered into on 8th July 1909 between The Tata Iron & Steel Co., and The Secretary of State for India in council. Near about 3,564.63 acres of land in first schedule and about 10 acres of land in three other schedules was transferred to the Company so as to vest absolutely in the company. A deed of conveyance for this acquisition along with a small acquisition in 1910 was executed between The Secretary of state for India in Council and the Iron & Steel Co. Ltd on 19th January 1912.This land was to be used for the purpose of Works and Town in and around Sakchi.

The second agreement for acquisition of about 7200.39 acres land at Jamshedpur was signed between the Secretary of state for India and The Tata iron & Steel Co. on July 9th 1918. The land thus acquired was to be used for work and purposes in connection with the undertaking or business of the company, including the construction of residences, The improvement pf sanitary conditions and the establishment of experimental agricultural farms.

Subsequently one more agreement between The TISCO and The Secretary of State for India in Council was signed for acquisition of nearly 12,214.74 acres of land on the 18th October 1919 for the purpose of use by the Company or other Companies formed or hereafter to be formed as subsidiaries including residential, sanitation and experimental agricultural farms establishment etc.

The conveyance deed of the agreements reached in 1918 & 1919 was executed on 23rd September 1929 for the purposes mentioned above. The details of the 3 agreements mentioned above and the 2 deeds of conveyances entered into between the representatives of the then British Govt. and the nominees of the TISCO in the pre-independence period are incorporated herewith.

Sl. No. Agreements/Conveyances Date
1. Agreement between The Tata iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and the secretary of state for India in council 08-07-1909
2. Conveyance between the secretary of state for India in council and the Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. 19-01-1912
3. Agreement between The Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and The Secretary of State for India in Council 09-07-1918
4. Agreement between The Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. and The Secretary of State for India in Council 18-10-1919
5. Conveyance between The Secretary of State for India in Council 23-09-1929
6. Agreement between Govt. of Bihar and The Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. 04-08-1984
7. Indenture of Lease between Govt. of Bihar and The Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. 01-08-1985
8. Indenture of Lease between Govt. of Jharkhand and The Tata Steel Ltd. 20-08-2005
9. Agreement between Govt. of Jharkhand and The Tata Steel Ltd. for Exclusion of Bastees from Tata Lease Area 20-08-2005
10. Agreement between Govt. of Jharkhand and The Tata Steel Ltd. for Contribution in 34th National Games Jharkhand 2007 20-08-2005
11. Agreement between Govt. of Jharkhand and The Tata Steel Ltd. for Contribution in Health Insurance Scheme 20-08-2005

After independence the said land transferred to TISCO by the then Govt. of British India with absolute ownership was taken over by the Govt. of Bihar after promulgation of Bihar Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1972 which was challenged by the TISCO Management in Supreme court through a Writ Petition. Thereafter the TISCO Management withdrew the case as Both the parties preferred out of court settlement to litigation. Subsequently the Govt. of Bihar enacted Bihar Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1982 by which the estate of TISCO got vested in the State of Bihar under the B.L.R. Act 1950 as amended from time to time.

Afterwards an agreement of lease was facilitated on 4th day of August 1984 followed by Indenture of lease on 1st day of August 1985. The lease agreement thus made was effective retrospectively from 1st August 1956. Details of the land thus leased out to TISCO is as below :-

Schedule Classification Area in acre Rent per acre
1. Production process 744.16 Rs.200/-
2. Housing (employees) 1,418.94 Rs.50/-
3. Civic Amenities 2,235.39 Rs.1/-
4. Sub lease 4,301.75 Actual
5. Vacant Land 4,008.35 Rs.14.10/-
  Total 12,708.59 acres  

The lease agreement expired on 31st December 1995 and got renewed on 20th August 2005 with retrospective effect from 01-01-1996. Details of land leased out by the Govt. of Jharkhand to Tata Steel as per recommendation of Deputy Commissioner, East Singhbhum District is as below :-

Schedule Classification Area in acre Rent per acre
1. Production process 987.60 Rs.400/-
2. Housing (employees) 1686.89 Rs.100/-
3. Civic Amenities 2205.98 Rs.2/-
4. Sub lease 4018.35 Actual
5. Vacant Land 1414.47 Rs.28.20/-
  Total 10,313.29 acres  

Civic Amenities to The People in The Renewed Lease Agreement-2005

The Town of Jamshedpur including peripheral urban conglomerates have a population of above one million. The land measuring 2205.98 is leased to Tata Steel at a nominal rent of Rs. 2 per acre to provide Civic Amenities to the citizens of the town of Jamshedpur both within and outside of the lease area as indicated in the less agreement. These civic amenities of Municipal Nature are summarised as below in the Indenture of Lease:-

Health, Welfare, Hospitals, family planning and child welfare centres, Conservancy depots, Sewage disposal system along with installations, Open spaces, Water Supply System along with installations, Roads, Parks, Gardens and Lakes, Play Grounds and stadiums, Community and Social Welfare Centres, Dairy and poultry Farms, Picnic Spots, Electric Substations, Transmission lines for Power Supply, Telephone lines, Buildings and Offices for the administration of Civic Amenities, lesee's Schools including Technical Institutes etc.

There is a big question mark about the supply of civic amenities according to the conditions of the Lease agreement. People of Jamshedpur knows better about the bitter experiences in this regard.

Civic Administration in Jamshedpur

Jamshedpur better known as steel city with essence of a mini-India. People from all nook and corner of the Country reside amicably since more than 100 years ago. It is all due to Tata steel endeavour to establish a model township for its employees of various grades who come on their own or brought by the Management from all over India for sake of utilising their skills or providing them employment. Though the township of Jamshedpur has very well preserved the soul of the mini India yet the town of Jamshedpur both in area and population as well as in diversification of economic activities has grown manifold and a well meaning civic administration with modern progressive outlook which may cater well and with utmost sophistication the needs and desires of different strata of the expanding township of Jamshedpur.

Jamshedpur today is administered by the age old Notified Area Committee with almost nil people's participation. To bring a conscious change in the body administration of Jamshedpur could not see light of the day despite divergent efforts of competing sections of stake holders including the State and Central Govts. The following details highlight a glimpse of the real picture in this connection.

A Glimpse of the Local Self Governance at Jamshedpur at present under litigation Civil Appeal no. 467of 2008 in Supreme Court of India (Tata Steel. Vs. State of Jharkhand & others)

1922 Bihar & Orissa Municipal Act came into effect 21-06-1924 Jamshedpur was declared a notified area vide notification no. 5960
1967 A proposal was issued by the Bihar Govt. for converting JNAC into Municipality 1973 The proposal was dropped.
04-08-1984 Lease between Tata Steel and Bihar Govt. executed. Tata Steel took responsibility to provide Municipal Services in Jamshedpur. 1998 WP(C) No. 154/88 was filed by Jawahar Lalique Sharma. Seeking conversion of JNAC into a Municipality.
21-08-1989 Hon'ble Supreme Court directed the State Govt. to issue Notification under section 390A of the Bihar & Orissa Municipal Act, declaring its intention to convert Jamshedpur into a Municipality within a period of 8 weeks. 23-11-1990 Notification was issued u/s. 390A to constitute municipality in Jamshedpur.
11-01-1991 TISCO challenged the Notification by way of Writ in Patna High Court. Notification was stayed by HC. 11-03-1992 Fresh JNAC was constituted
25-11-1992 Stay order was vacated by the High Court. 01-06-1993 74th constitutional amendment introduced. Article 243Q provides for Municipality / Industrial Township
30-05-1994 Govt. of Bihar in compliance to the 74th Amendment Promulgated an Ordinance and amended Bihar Municipal Act. 08-09-1998 Notification issued and JNAC constituted in 1992 was dissolved.
1998 Notification challenged by way of Writ Petition in Patna High Court 28-04-2000 Writ Petition disposed off with a direction to State to issue appropriate Notification.
15-11-2000 Bihar Reorganisation Act 2000 promulgated. Jharkhand state constituted. 2003 J. L. Sharma filed WP praying for direction to state to replace JNAC by a duly elected Municipal body.
31-05-2005 High Court issued direction to conduct Municipal election. 20-08-2005 Tata lease renewed. Tata empowered to levy charges for Municipal services contrary to part I X of constitution.
6.12.2005 State Govt. issued notification expressing intention to declare Jamshedpur as Municipality. 08-12-2005 Notification published in the official gazette.
23-06-2006 High Court disposed off WP and remitted the matter back to Govt. 10-08-2006 Tata Steel filed SLP No. 14926/06 challenging the HC Judgement and order dated 23.6.2000 in WP(C) No. 517/06
25-09-2006 Notice issued by Hon'ble Supreme Court 09-01-2008 Leave granted and status quo shall be maintained.
01-05-2008 J L Sharma filed an application for impalement (IA No. 3) in CA No. 467/08 before SC and the same was allowed vide order dated 1.5.2008. SC directed that petition be put up for hearing and order in Oct.2008. --- The matter is still pending before SC...

Industrial Township vs. Municipal Corporation

The 74th amendment in the constitution of India incorporated a new concept in the chapter of Municipality in Article 243 Q. Most reliable sources at highest place in the Urban Development Department, Govt. of India once confided that The Tata steel Management owes much to introduction of a new entity in the name of "Industrial Township" in article 243Q of the Constitution. It May be or may not be but Tata Steel opposition to the Municipal Corporation in Jamshedpur is well known.

The Govt. of Bihar also made suitable changes in its Municipal Act and introduced the provision of Industrial township as and where required as per Constitutional Amendment. But the provision remained just indicative and could not be made exhaustive by making specific rules for its implementation in practice. It says " There shall be Constituted (c) a Municipal Corporation for a Larger urban area;

Provided that a Municipality under this clause may not be constitute in such urban area or part thereof as the Governor may, having regard to size of the area and municipal services being provided or proposed to be provided by an industrial establishment in that area and such other factors as he may deem fit , by public notification , specified to be an Industrial Township"

The Govt. of Jharkhand in December 2004 took decision to constitute Industrial Township in Jamshedpur and Bokaro where Tata Steel and Bokaro Steel provides civic amenities respectively. It could not be notified as the State Legislative Assembly was dissolved and assembly elections were declared soon after. When new Govt. was constituted after lots of political drama in 2005 March under the stewardship of the same Chief Minister the Urban Development department took contradictory decision and issued notification for constitution of Municipal Corporation in Jamshedpur. I personally was opposed to this decision and could not check myself to vent my views publicly in this regard.

The Tata Steel Management opposed the Govt.'s decision and moved to High Court and again to Supreme Court against it. The matter is yet pending at the Supreme Court. I approached both the State Govt. and the Tata Steel Management several times and requested them to jointly move to the supreme court and pray for early decision in the matter failing which reach to an amicable out of court settlement in public interest and intimate the Supreme Court with the same so that a responsible and responsive Local Self Govt. may see the light of the day soon. Sad to say, none of them are serious.

To me it seems to be primary duty of the Tata Steel to prepare a Draft of the participatory governance through the Industrial Township in overall scheme of the spirit of related Constitutional provision and put it before the State Govt. failing which let the Govt. resort to the constitution of Municipality as a mode of Local Self Governance in Jamshedpur. The area of the Jugsalai Nagar Parishad and the Mango Nagar Panchayat are unnecessarily suffering due to pending Writ Petition against Municipal Corporation in Jamshedpur in the Supreme Court of India. As a result people of Jamshedpur and around are not fully availing the benefits of JnNURM on the other hand the confusion is most confounding day by day with regard to compliance/non compliance of provisions of Lease Renewal Agreement related to civic amenities on behalf of the Tata Steel.

Environmental Degradation around Jamshedpur

Jamshedpur basically is a Tata centric steel city. Many subsidiary manufacturing units have come around Jamshedpur in last 100 years. In its neighborhood the area of Adityapur is also thriving as industrial hub. Taken together industrial and related economic activities in both Jamshedpur and Adityapur are impinging adversely on the over all Environment and Ecology of this region.

The then Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO), now Tata Steel, appointed NEERI ( National Environmental Engineering Research Institute ), a Govt. of India organization with headquarter at Nagpur, to suggest a Carrying based Developmental planning for Jamshedpur Region. Objective of this TISCO sponsored study was to assess the Environmental stress in the region, to quantify the Environmental degradation in the region owing to growing industrialization, to calculate the pollution load carrying capacity of the region in view of the capacity enhancement of the Tata Steel production. It was indeed a welcome step.

The foreword of the 2nd phase of the study report of the NEERI in this regard dated January 2001 mentions "However, the ever expanding industrial activities, particularly in the absence of proper implementation of any industrial sitting policy by the concerned agencies , are resulting in serious Environmental degradation and lowering of living standards as also shortfalls in basic infrastructure."

It further stressed that "An industrial region, however, cannot have infinite carrying capacity and development can be sustained only if it is within the ecological carrying capacity of the region. TISCO , taking cognizance of the degradation and quality of life in the region, retained NEERI for undertaking study on the establishment of regional assimilative capacity with respect to air, water and land components of Environment , as also on the supportive capacity of human and natural resources of Jamshedpur Region apropos them frame work for developmental planning process based on the premises of carrying capacity."

The first phase of NEERI study was related to assessment of assimilative capacity of air, water, land components of assessment vis a vis the pollution levels in the context of expanding plans of industries in Jamshedpur region to ensure that the cost of Environmental Management, including pollution control, is minimal was submitted to TISCO and other sponsoring/ participating industries. A Regional Environmental Management Plan has also been delineated to serve as a blueprint for expansion/ modernization program industries in the region.

In the second phase of its report the NEERI made suggestions to facilitate carrying capacity based developmental planning for Jamshedpur region. It includes detailed inventory of resources and environmental quality based on primary and secondary data, changes in environmental scenario due to implementation of pollution control measures, predicted implementation of business-as- usual scenario , long term alternative Development and sectoral scenario ,and detailing of long term preferred scenario for 2021 AD to ensure sustainable socio-economic development of the Jamshedpur Region.

This report of NEERI could have been a base line for systematic healthy development of the region but no body, not even the district administration and the state pollution control board, is in a position to say whether any cognizance at any level was taken of this study and the plan submitted by the NEERI and if not why? This report did estimate a prospective industrial growth of Tata Steel in terms of steel production up to 2021 AD. It was 3.00 MT in 2000, 4.50 MT in 2005, 6.00 MT in 2011 and 7.50 MT in 2021. But the steel production which was 1.944 MT in 1991 rose to 3.051 in 2000, 5 MT in 2005, 6.95 in 2007 and approximately 10 MT in 2012.

Whether this increase in the production of Tata steel correspond to the conclusions and suggestions of the NEERI's carrying capacity based development planning of Jamshedpur region submitted and marked to one and all concerned. May be Tata Steel would have taken care of the problems arising out of speedy capacity enhancement much more than that estimated in NEERI's report and would also have planned remedial measures. The steel major would also has been able to convince appropriate authorities about it at the time of seeking various Environmental clearances at different stages of capacity enhancement. But there is no denying the fact that there are many aspects beyond its control in this regard which needs initiatives and actions on the part of the state and/or the central Govt.

Recently the CSE( Centre of Science and Environment) , a reputed organization of international fame in the arena of Environment , has conducted a Green Rating Program Studies which was released in Delhi on June 4, 2012 in the presence of the Minister of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India and the vice-chairman , Planning commission of India. The performance of two major steel industries of Jamshedpur Region namely Tata Steel ltd. and The Usha Martin Ltd. with regard to its Environmental Impact and Natural Resources consumption has been assessed on 8 leaf international standards during two years study period.

It is shocking to know that both the steel industries of Jamshedpur region were rated badly. The Tata Steel qualifies for only two leafs i.e. 25 to 35 percent marks whereas Usha Martin qualifies for only one leaf standard i.e. 15 to 25 percent marks. It indicates that recommendations of the above mentioned NEERI report were ignored and remained unimplemented both by the Govt. as well as private sector undertakings.

In between one more study sponsored by the TISCO was conducted by NEERI to assess Environmental Impact of Steel Slag Dumping at Jamshedpur. This study of NEERI carried out between December 2003 to May 2004 was not exhaustive one. It did not considered the impact of slag dumping on overall ecology of the river. Entire 52 page study report was devoted to prove one single point that the slag emanating from steel production process is not pollutant. But this study report revealed that banks of both the rivers Kharkai and Subernrekha at a 11 km long stretch were used as dumping yard of the steel slag by the TISCO management though in the previous carrying capacity based study report of the NEERI submitted in 2001 finds mention of about half a dozen big and small dumping yards of different steel slag and other solid wastes in which the rivers banks were not included.

The Hon'ble Jharkhand High Court in course of hearing of my Interlocutory Application in Writ Petition No. 1335/10 , Court on its own motion vs. state of Jharkhand , ordered measurement of the encroachment made by slag dumping on the river banks at Jamshedpur . It was found that river beds from 25 meters to 80 meters were encroached at different points where measurement was taken. Hon'ble court has directed the amicus curie in this matter to submit a plan to make the banks of rivers free of encroachment.

The condition of the two rivers are going bad to worse day by day due to unabated discharge of industrial and civic affluent. The steel industries including sponge iron and other manufacturing units already established in this region are proving environmental hazards and those in advance stage of establishment too are potential danger to the environment of the Jamshedpur Region. A fresh look needs to be given towards the pollution carrying capacity of the region and the possible remedial measures to be taken in the interest of Environment, Ecology, safety of Natural Resources and health of human being and other living species.